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Estimating the presence and potential impact of the emerald ash borer in the DePauw Nature Park

Megan Walton, Neil Broshears, Alex Eades, and Amanda Hendricks

Class project for Conservation Biology, BIO 342, spring 2008

Emerald Ash Borer (Coleoptera: Buprestidae) is an invasive beetle that is native to Asia.  It is assumed that it arrived in 2002 in the Michigan harbor areas via wooden shipping crates (Haack et al. 2002).  The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) feeds on the phloem of ash tree species (Fraxinus spp.) native to the Northeastern United States and lays its larvae underneath the bark.  This activity cuts off the water supply to the tree and leads to the eventual death of the host (Purdue Extension 2008).  This poses a large threat to the ecosystem and economy of the areas affected (MacFarlane and Meyer 2005).  We investigated whether or not EAB has arrived in Putnam County, more specifically the DePauw Nature Park and Arboretum.  EAB was not found in our study area.  Through observational field studies, GIS mapping and analysis we predicted the potential impact of EAB introduction to the ash tree population in the Arboretum and Quarry South.  Since we found that ash trees comprise less than 1% of the forest structure, we conclude that EAB invasion would not have a detrimental effect on the Arboretum and Quarry South forest composition.

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